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Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: flat, sage green Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: very pale gold Long Jing, otherwise known as Dragonwell, is one of my favorite green teas. The quality of this type of tea can vary widely and fakes abound in the marketplace. Dragonwell is simply not Dragonwell if Nicole Martinhttps://firstname.lastname@example.org
Varietal (adj) – a varietal tea is one that was made from a single variety of Camellia sinensis.
Correct usage: Tieguanyin is a varietal tea made from the ‘Tieguanyin’ cultivar (remember cultivar means “cultivated variety“) of Camellia sinensis.
Incorrect usage: Tieguanyin is made from the Tieguanyin varietal of Camellia sinensis.
From a few years back, here's a viral video Smirnoff put together to promote a tea-flavored beverage. Judging from the fact that it generated more than six million hits, one must assume that it achieved its goal of drawing attention to the product.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Butter Rum was always my favorite flavor of Lifesavers. I’m not really a fan of rum itself, but butter rum candy is the stuff dreams are made out of, and so is this tea.
Learn more about this blend here.
I was very intrigued by this blend as it is inspired by the Butter Rum flavored Lifesaver candies. I am not particularly crazy about these candies, but I like them alright. I’d much rather have chocolate. (No big surprise there, huh?) But I was certainly interested in trying 52Teas version of the Butter Rum candy in this flavored black tea.
And I really like this … perhaps even MORE than I like the candy.
The black tea base is robust yet smooth, and again, I am finding myself very pleased with 52Teas black tea base. It is so pleasantly rich. It has a strong, solid flavor … and given 52Teas penchant for strongly flavored teas it’s a good thing that the black tea base used is a strong one, otherwise the tea might be overpowered by the flavoring. But that’s not the case here … sure, the flavoring is strong – no doubt about that – but, the black tea is bold enough to stand out and be tasted. It is not an overly astringent tea … there is some astringency, but I would classify it as a moderate astringency, and it seems to be mellowed somewhat by the hint of vanilla in this tea.
The vanilla also gives this a really lovely creamy tone that evokes thoughts of the smooth, creamy, buttery candy that inspired this tea. This truly tastes like someone dropped a butter rum Lifesaver in my teacup and allowed it to melt in the hot liquid. It’s quite yummy!
I prefer this tea sweetened because I think it brings out the butter rumminess of it. (Yes, rumminess is a word, I just made it up) I don’t add a lot of turbinado sugar to this, but, I find that just about half a teaspoon to my cup brings out the flavors and makes it taste much more like the candy. It’s delicious served straight (with no additions) as well … and it also makes a rather delicious latte if you’re in the mood for something really creamy and decadent!
A really well-crafted blend from 52Teas!
We are so honored to be invited to offer our Taiwan Oolong workshop for Tea Source and to be featured as the highlight of Tea Source' "Month of Taiwan". The audience as the owner of Tea Source said, are very different from the crowd we have at the FON. These attendees are more in tea for a while and they are here to learn more about Taiwan tea and the culture also the story behind each tea.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Golden Moon Tea
For Sinharaja we use rich, dark loose leaf tea leaves that are nourished by fertile rain forest streams in the hills of Ceylon. It has a toasty, molasses-like character with ripe berry notes and a caramelized finish. Serve with a touch of raw sugar and cream for a taste that is smooth, full-bodied and warming.
WHY IT’S SPECIAL:
A sweet, full bodied Ceylon Tea
Natural notes of cocoa and honey with a finish of molasses
A personal favorite of our Owner, Marcus Stout
Pairs excellently with milk and honey
Grown at the basin of a rainforest giving it a wonderfully rich flavor
WHAT TO BE CAREFUL OF:
Sinharaja has a touch of astringency, which is great for first thing in the morning
A bold flavor that is heavier than most Ceylon Teas
While good as an iced tea, it actually tastes better hot
Not as malty as other Black Teas (like Assam)
If you drink the tea without milk and sugar/honey, then the second infusion is better than the first
Learn more about this tea here.
The aroma of Sinharaja from Golden Moon Tea is delightful. It smells rich, robust, sweet, and full of molasses. Yet to balance out this sweet tea we have an almost spicy, woodsy flavor. It is quite delicious. Now I can’t say it is the most robust black tea, nor the heaviest in the mouthfeel. Actually I have had teas with far more depth of flavor than Sinharaja, however I do love this tea. I like the subtle astringency indicative of a breakfast tea, without the ability for it to easily become bitter when oversteeped. Let’s face it, if I am going to over steep a tea it is going to be when I am barely awake, in the mornings. Well in honesty my mornings are more early afternoon, but you get the idea.
If you like to add creamer, milk, sugar, etc to your tea this is an excellent one to do it with. Although I find this tea to have plenty of flavor on its own and does not need additives, I have to admit that the milk and sugar do bring out new and exciting qualities in this tea. It enhances the richness and makes the tea a bit more robust, rather than drowning out the flavors. I also only added a slight hint of milk, and sugar.
There is a earthy yet sweet balance in this tea that keeps drawing me back. Chocolate notes that seem almost creamy as the cup cools some present. Bright berry notes do liven up the cup giving an almost sparkly like sensation to the palate. The berries taste more red berry, perhaps even a slight cherry or perhaps raspberry note to the cup. Based on the sparkly sensation I am going to have to go with very sweet raspberry.
I particularly love the after taste and while I know that Golden Moon says this is better hot I can’t wait to try it iced. I feel like this is one of those teas that can really match any weather. I can see this being so comforting on a dreary day, or really refreshing on a hot day. I need to get my hands on some more of this.
Here's another article I recently wrote for The English Tea Store blog.
Smoke Gets in Your Tea
I don’t have a problem with smoke flavoring in foods. It seems like a sensible idea, although given that I don’t eat meat anymore I’m probably not able to take full advantage of it. When it comes to tea, however, it’s a different story.
I’ve been drinking tea for more than seven years now, and in the early days I approached almost everything with an open mind. As time passed it became increasingly apparent that I didn’t like any...
Norman Shu has done this one again and it is getting very positively involved from Tea Professionals both TTMA and TCTMA... I hope maybe on my next trip back to Taiwan, I will be lucky enough to participate their MeetUp. Taiwan tea professionals can get chance to see and cup different teas from different countries and also can compare and appreciate the Terriors of the different Origins.
Free Kindle Cookbooks for Mother’s Day Weekend. Yes, three of my cookbooks are available this weekend only for free download at Amazon Kindle. Enjoy! Lavender Cookbook: Essential Lavender Recipes on Kindle Cookbooks in general have always piqued my fancy and then I fell in love with lavender. In this cookbook and recipe collection, you’ll find a wide [...]
Before the start, I would like to salute to Malaysian friends with these 2006 shu and sheng cakes made per special order of Malaysian Puerh Association.
I've been living in my small world and didn't know much about what was going on in Malaysia. But I have a facebook friend who is Chinese Malaysian American and updated me a lot about the recent Election in Malaysia. It was quite amazing!
These are two Huang Shan Mao Feng that I have every year since 2010. Huang Shan Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas (probably top 3, and Long Jing is not even in the top 3...) It's hard for me to pick just a few of "favorite green tea". Similarly, it's hard to pick up just a few of "favorite" Huang Shan Mao Feng producers. There are actually many that I like. But these two, I think, are most unique in style and from quite unique places. I've explained about them here and here.
This is pretty much a casual tasting rather than "evaluation" tasting. I love them both and hence can't really evaluate them objectively.
The one on the left is the semi-wild Huang Shan Mao Feng (which I happened to take from the very bottom of a pack so there are more broken leaves than usual), and the one on the right is the 1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng.
Overall, the semi-wild Mao Feng has higher bud/leaf ratio than the 1400m Mao Feng, while there are are fewer broken leaves in the 1400m Mao Feng. The amount of broken leaves is partially due to that I reached the bottom of a pack for the semi-wild. Besides, the semi-wild Mao Feng must be carried from its remote site back to the factory for processing, unlike the 1400m Mao Feng, which is carried from a site near the village (the near distance is still by the standards of locals who have very strong legs) back to the village for processing.
In terms of taste and aroma, I feel the 1400m Mao Feng is more "typical" Mao Feng taste, with a subtle floral aroma to begin with, and with very smooth tea liqour. The semi-wild Mao Feng has a quite "interesting" taste, with some edemame flavor and more prominent sweet aftertaste than most green teas.
I didn't take dry leaf photos this year - but they are quite consistent from year to year. If comparing the dry leaf photos from the above-mentioned earlier blog posts, we could see the semi-wild Mao Feng has more bud, and the pan-frying is not as heavy as the 1400m Mao Feng. It's still traditional heavy kill-green process. But naturally they shouldn't be pan-fried as hard as larger leaves.
In contrast, the pan-frying of the 1400m Mao Feng is quite heavy that we could easily see the "blisters" on the rim of the leaves.
Semi-wild Mao Feng (it has some blisters too)
1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng (a lot of "blisters")
"Blister" is something quite interesting, and I plan to create a blog post with a series of photos of tea leaf "blisters". It's commonly seen on traditional green tea genres and sometimes is used to judge if a tea is manually made. But the "blisters" on some teas (such as Long Jing) are much more subtle than some heavily "blistered" green teas (such as Huang Shan Mao Feng and Lu Shan Yun Wu). Between these two Huang Shan Mao Feng, I think the "blister" is an interesting contrast and somewhat reflect the different styles of these two teas.
Some updates: Mr. Wang's village finally got the road built. My feelings about it are complicated. But I know it's good for them. Mr. Wang is thrilled about driving a car to visit his parents instead of walking for 8km in the mountain.
Country of Origin: Taiwan Leaf Appearance: dark, curly and twisted Ingredients: oolong tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 200 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: gold This tea goes by many different names but most know it as Oriental Beauty. It is unique because farmers actually encourage pests (specifically the tea green leafhopper) to feed on the the plants. This Nicole Martinhttps://email@example.com
If women want to learn to play hard to get, they should watch the birds. Mourning doves and downy woodpeckers are real experts at the game. The doves basically ignore their proposed mates who prance and preen and are too, too persistent,while the woodpeckers lead theirs on an aerial ballet. They are fascinating to watch. Speaking of persistence, the squirrels, they are indeed persistent when it comes to a full bird feeder. However, I have discovered that the presence of our largest cat, Orphan Andy, is quite the deterrent, all 20 pounds of him. His other name is Fatso Catso, so you can imagine his shape. He just sits on the steps and dares them to approach. For all his size, he is very fast and an excellent mouser or squirreler.
Ah me, I have fallen into temptation once again. This time it is Williamson Tea Elephant Tea Caddies and the teas within. They are all tea bags, so my standing as a tea snob is called into question, but sometimes a tea bag is all you're up for and Himself simply can't be bothered with making a pot of loose tea, I think by now Williamson's has about 8 of these delightful caddies and I have 4.
The one I tried today is Quiet Afternoon and comes in a gold elephant, complete with calf and adorned with Christmas hangings, presents and mistletoe, decked out like Indian elephants for a special festival. I have to say I like the tea. It is like a mild Breakfast tea. Has a hint of sweetness, though and perhaps a hint of fruit. It can stand a drop of cream and doesn't get harsh if you overbrew it. Altogether a very pleasant experience.
Another Hapsburg Palace in Vienna. They just loved to build themselves mansions.
Let’s face it — the species Teaprincessica normalis is definitely not endangered. There are plenty of us out there with special tearooms, a collection of unusual yet useful teawares, a penchant for finding great places to take tea, and so on. And based on what I see on Facebook and other sites, the tea party is alive and well in towns across the U.S.
Read the rest of the article on The English Tea Store Blog.
© 2013 A.C. Cargill photos and text
Polyphenols contributes to the astringency of tea
Flavanols Epigallocatechin gallate Epicatechin gallate Epigallo catechin Epicatechin Catechin Gallocatechin
Flavonols and flavonol glycosides
Polyphenolic acids and depsides
Caffeine contributes to the briskness of tea
Amino acids contributes to the brothyness of tea
Cellulose and Hemicellulose
Chlorophylls and other pigments contributes to color and appearance of tea
Volatiles contributes to the aroma of tea
Biochemical compounds responsible for color
Compounds ColorTheaflavins Yellowish brownThearubigins Reddish brownFlavonol glycosides Light yellowPheophorbide BrownishPheophytin BlackishCarotene Yellow
Biochemical compounds responsible for flavor
Linalool, Linalool oxide Sweet
Geraniol, Phenylacetaldehyde Floral
Nerolidol, Benzaldehyde, Methyl salicylate,
Phenyl ethanol Fruity
Cis-3-Hexenol, Grassy, b-Ionone Fresh flavour
Caffeine is a purine derivative, which is 1,3,7-tri- methyl xanthine.
Caffeine content in black tea is around 3 – 4% of dry weight.
It has stimulating property and removes mental fatigue.
The contribution of caffeine to the infusion is the briskness and creamy property resulting from the complex formed by caffeine with polyphenols.
Briskness is a taste and sensation while creaming is the turbidity that develops from a good cup of tea when cooled.
The leaf cell wall, containing cellulostic materials surrounded by hemi-cellulose and a lignin seal, prevents the penetration of hydrolyzing enzymes.
The reduced succulence in the matured shoot is believed to be due to structural bonding between phenolic components of lignin, polysaccharides and cutin of cell wall.
The free sugars found in tea shoot are glucose, fructose, sucrose, raffinose and stachyose.
Maltose in Assam variety and rhamnose in china variety appeared special.
Pectic substances contain galactose, arabinose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose and ribose.
Free sugars are responsible for the synthesis of catechins in tea shoot, formation of heterocyclic flavour compounds during processing of black tea and contributing towards water-soluble solids in tea liquor.
Cellulose, hemi-cellulose, pectins and lignins are responsible for the formation of crude fibre content in black tea.
Tracer studies using 14C-glucose in detached tea shoot showed that glucose was one of the precursors of polyphenols in tea.
Except theanine all amino acids present in tea shoot were biosynthesized using 14C-glucose, 14C-sodiam carbonate and 14C-sodium propionate.
Theanine was mainly synthesized in the root and translocated to the shoot.
Aspartic, glutamic, serine, glutamine, tyrosine, valine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and theanine (5-N-ethylglutamine) were found to be the principal amino acids present in tea leaf.
Theanine alone contributed around 60% of total amino acid content.
Asparagine was formed during withering.
The amino acids play an important role in the development of tea aroma during the processing of black tea.
Volatile Carbonyl Compounds formed from the amino acids during processing:
Glycine —› formaldehyde
Alanine —› acetaldehyde
Valine —› isobutyraldehyde
Leucine —› isovaleraldehyde
Isoleucine —› 2-methylbutanol
Methionine —› methional
Phenyl alanine —› phenylacetaldehyde
Lipids and fatty acids
The neutral, glyco and phospholipid contents and their fatty acid composition varied in Assam, China and Cambod varieties and also during different stages of black tea manufacture.
Total lipid contents(%) and total fatty acids (ľg/g) at different stages i.e. green leaf, withered leaf, rolled leaf, fermented leaf and black teas are about 6.5, 5.7, 4.5, 4.3 and 2.8 and 9.8, 8.4, 6.6, 4.8 and 3.7 respecttively.
The major fatty acids available in tea are linolenic, linoleic, oleic and palmitic.
The four major carotenoids, ß-carotene, lutein, violaxanthine and neoxanthine were estimated spectroscopically in four different Tocklai released clones, namely, TV-1 (China hybrid), TV-2 (Assam Betjan variety), TV-9 (Assam-Cambod variety) and TV-17 (China hybrid).
The quantitative changes of these carotenoids in different stages of black tea manufacture were also studied in TV-2 (less flavoury) and TV-17 (flavoury) clones against TV-1 as standard.
Comparative study showed that TV-2 contained the least amount of these carotenoids whereas TV-9 and TV-17 contained higher amounts.
All these carotenoids were found to decrease appreciably during black tea manufacture.
The decrease was found to be higher in curling, tearing and crushing method than in the conventional orthodox method of tea manufacture.
The changes of two of these carotenoids viz. -carotene and lutein were not significant statistically during withering but were highly significant during fermentation.
However, the reverse was true for violoaxanthine where as the neoxanthine shows significant changes in both of these stages.
The vitamin A value was calculated from the residual -carotene amount, pro-vitamin A, in black tea.
Delphenidin and cyanidin were the major anthocyanidins present in tea leaf.
Anthocyanin contents were higher in tea shoots from pruned than those of unpruned bushes.
Role of anthocyanins on the quality of black tea however, has not been found to be significant.
Citric, tartaric, malic, oxalic, fumaric and succinic acids were detected in Assam leaf.
Role of organic acids towards the biochemical influence on the quality of black tea is not yet reported.
Leaf Type: Green (Matcha)
Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea
When the tangy tart taste of fresh raisins is combined with the understated elegance of Matcha, the resulting treat is a true feast for the palate. With its subtle hints of hidden sweetness and Matcha’s light touch, Raisin Matcha is the perfect treat for people who want a drink with fruity undertones and a touch of the exotic orient. This delicious treat can also command a following in the special occasions of young children because of its sweet flavor and fruity charms.
Learn more about this flavored Matcha here.
I like raisins alright, and my curiosity was definitely piqued when I noticed that Red Leaf Tea offers a Raisin Flavored Matcha in their vast selection of flavored Matcha teas. I mean, it’s not often when I actually encounter a raisin flavored tea … I’ve found a few grape flavored teas, but not counting the few fruit tisanes that I’ve found that include actual raisins in their blend, it’s not often when I come across a raisin flavored tea.
And if that wasn’t enough to prompt me to order a Raisin Flavored Matcha (and it is!) I couldn’t help bu think that the sweet flavor of raisins would mesh quite well with the sweet, buttery, vegetative flavor of Matcha. And I was right! This is really an outstanding flavor combination. It reminds me just a wee bit of the Fig Flavored Matcha … the aroma was not quite as strong as the Fig Matcha but it was similar, and the taste is faintly reminiscent of the flavor of the Fig Matcha as well. Not so similar that it’s difficult to tell one from the other – this is definitely Raisin flavored Matcha. But they are similar enough to evoke my thoughts to that Fig Matcha that I enjoyed so much.
The Matcha is sweet, slightly grassy, and has a creamy texture. The raisin-y taste seems to highlight the Matcha tea’s natural buttery note and encourages it to come forward. There is a slightly tart note to this too, a distinct “grape-y” note to this, although it tastes more like the sweet, dry raisin than it does a juicy, tart grape.
I went with my usual specifications for this Matcha – the classic grade of Matcha and the distinctive level of flavoring … and I’m very happy with the result. The flavor of the Matcha is not diminished or muted by the flavoring, and the raisin notes are strong enough to be tasted. A nice balance has been achieved. I don’t think I’d go with a different level of flavoring for this blend for future orders, but I might try one of the higher grades of Matcha, just to see how they measure up.
I like this Matcha prepared the traditional way, whisked up with hot water. It also makes a nice latte, if you’d like to add some warm milk to the chawan when you’re preparing the matcha. But I think that this one is BEST served cold! Just measure some of the powdered green tea right into a water bottle with cold water and shake it up until it’s completely incorporated. It’s so delightfully refreshing – and invigorating! It makes a great pick-me-up for those afternoons when you start to feel sluggish!
Another winning flavor for Matcha from Red Leaf Tea!
Sunday (5/5/2013), we are having our second Taiwan Oolong workshop at the Festival. This time, the show management team has prepared a great sound system for us. It is rather easier...and many friends are actually attracted to our stage area while our program is moving along. Josephine leads the chanting with all attendee...so loud and a lot of fun! "Taiwan Oolong, the best tea!" that message is well delivered in the FON 2013!
I am grateful to Tea Source owner Mr. Bill Waddington for all his service. Good to have the volunteers who help us to make tea on the front table. Audrey, Kelsey, Jeff and Megan. Thank you all!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: The Persimmon Tree
Genmaicha green tea, also known as “poor man’s tea” is a great choice for bold flavor. This earthy infusion of organic loose-leaf sencha and toasted rice kernels pairs perfectly with savory snacks and Asian meals, and has just enough caffeine to pick you up after a long day.
Organic Sencha Green Loose-Leaf Tea, Roasted Rice Kernels
Learn more about this tea here.
Genmaicha from the Persimmon Tree, One of my favorite teas! There are different levels of “roastiness” in genmaicha this is not one of the roastiest that I have tasted but it is well balanced and quite lovely. Genmaicha is a “go to” tea for me really anytime, but always when I can’t decide on what to steep. Genmaicha always satisfies. I love sencha, and I love the nutty toasty flavor that Genmaicha has to offer. Call it poor man’s tea if you must, I feel rather lavish when I sip on a cup!
The mouthfeel is creamy, buttery, and fresh, with that lovely sencha flavor that I can’t resist. The rice kernels are plentiful too, and I like that! This is also a very forgiving tea for a green tea, it takes to an over-steep quite well if you are prone to forgetting about your steeping tea. Not that I ever do that, (yeah right).
Today I needed something to center my mind. I have had a crazy busy week, missing one day of reviewing entirely (sorry about that), so today I just needed to get focus back, and ground myself. This tea was calling to me and it is doing just what I needed it to. I also find that Genmaicha helps curb hunger pangs and will really get you through to meal time.
I have sampled a lot of Genmaicha teas and this is one of my top three favorites due to its high roasted flavor. Yet, even with its high roasted flavor, the sencha is the star of the show! You do not lose one bit of the wonderful sencha taste. It also just fills my room with earthy, fresh aromas and is way better smelling than any room spray!
I love a tea company that does good. You can read all about the Persimmon Tree here. I personally love this excerpt:
We, at The Persimmon Tree®, contribute to the sustainability of our planet. Where possible, we use recycled and recyclable materials in our shipping supplies and printed materials. Using recycled products increases the demand for recycled material, which increases the rate of recyclability. Our passion is to instigate and experience positive change through the simple things, and we encourage our customers to do the same.
A very good Genmaicha, a very good company!
You may remember that when I came home from World Tea East last fall, I was raving about some tea ice cream I had, made by Tea-rrific Ice Cream. They were just awarded all three top awards for ice cream at the Specialty Foods 2013 conference in Connecticut. They were awarded best New Product at WTE. Currently they are only available in the NYC metro area and Connecticut (too sad). We should bug Whole Foods to add them to their repertoire. Their website is www.tearrificicecream.com .
Himself took me out for Mother's Day today. I hate to go on the day, everywhere is so crowded. So we went to a tea shop I've had my eye on to try - The Rose Garden Tea Room in Endicott, NY. It was very rosey and decorated with many old advertising prints from women's magazines and the various tea wares they had for sale. The tea was all Harney's, so of course, it was good. my husband had Paris, which he loved - anything with vanilla wins for him. I had something called 1896, which was peachy, with a hint of raspberry and citrus. The scones were apples walnut and came with jam, raspberries and cream. I had chicken and biscuits, as I was quite hungry, and it was delicious. Dessert was a very yummy coconut cake. Next time, I am going to go for tea.
Spring green has finally climbed all the way to the top of the hills and the flowering trees and lilacs are just bursting with color. Yesterday I noticed the dogwood is blooming in the woods across the road. It is so lovely to see it here and there, shining through the trees. The dawn chorus of the birds is just so loud, but so welcome to hear, after the silence of the winter.
May all you mothers have a lovely day and much super tea.
Another Karl's Kirche shot. I just love this church.
Country of Origin: South Africa Leaf Appearance: small, reddish and woody Ingredients: rooibos, lemon grass, lemon flavor Steep time: 5 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: deep reddish brown Etsy seller Ashleigh Wilson recently connected with me on Twitter and offered me some samples to try. I'm not a big fan of rooibos or herbal Nicole Martinhttps://firstname.lastname@example.org
The number 3 or 4 player in tea growing in the world is the island nation off the south coast of India. Formerly named “Ceylon,” it is now called Sri Lanka. The teas, though, are still referred to as Ceylon teas. They are used in many blends, including brands like…
Read the rest of the article on The English Tea Store Blog.
© 2013 A.C. Cargill photos and text